Green vacation, day one
This year no 3,000 mile drives to northern Maine. My family and I are doing day trips and using public transportation. We drew up a list of places around Chicago that will delight and edify. Yesterday's destination: Starved Rock State Park near Utica. Starved Rock is formed of St. Peter sandstone, which is pretty soft as rocks go. In the canyons you can see the layers that have been worn through as you inspect the rock walls. (The picture looks like LaSalle Canyon.) It had rained the day before, so the waterfalls and streams were running verdantly well. Andrew's good eye spotted a cedar waxwing. Also a tiny snake that stuck its tiny tongue out at us, two deer in a roadside meadow, many millipedes on the march, a blue butterfly. The flowers were stunning: yellow iris, native columbine, jack-in-the-pulpit, spiderwort, pinks, wild geranium. Small sunny patches in the forest held bouquets of late spring flowers. The kids explored and got wet, the adults named things. It took an hour to get there, a green place to visit in a green way.